New interactive public art project powered by screams
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
6qsywdggScreams submitted online light up a building in London Bridge
UK - With social distancing still in place and lockdown restrictions continuing to cause tension for many, London-based artist Marcus Lyall and not-for-profit arts organisation Illuminate Productions have transformed a soon-to-be-demolished office block in London Bridge into an interactive public artwork powered by sound.
In this new site-specific work, Lyall invites interested parties to join a Zoom call where they can scream or otherwise vocalise their feelings, with a light installation instantly illuminating the building in response to the voice. “The louder and longer your outburst, the bigger the response from the building,” say organisers. “The building interprets every voice and scream differently, to create a unique response for each guest. You can participate using any device that supports the Zoom app. Please scream responsibility.”
Screams will be played to the building each night and the results posted the next day on the Scream The House Down Youtube channel. The artwork is designed as a safe and constructive excuse for people to release their inner tension. ‘Primal Scream therapy’ has long been investigated as beneficial for psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. While the artist makes no medical claims, a long and loud shout may be a good way to relieve inner tensions.
The artwork uses low-energy LED lights to fill the building with colour. The installation process followed social distancing guidelines, with a small team of volunteers including Michael Wagner, James McArthur, Reuben Jacob, Jake Wood and Alex Jones.
Marcus Lyall says: “I created the artwork as a place to direct your frustrations and tensions, without judgement and without affecting the people around you. I’ve used a building as a canvas to give those feelings a sense of scale.”
Caroline Jones, creative director of Illuminate Productions, adds: “Lockdown is a huge challenge for everyone in the arts community. Despite the COVID crisis, we’re aiming to continue producing relevant art projects that engage the public. Through this project, we are exploring ways to bring artworks to new audiences and find ways to use the transformed environment.”
All Zoom calls will be recorded for artistic purposes and may be used by the artist to develop future installations. This installation is produced by not-for-profit arts organisation Illuminate Productions, in partnership with New Art Projects and Nursery Theatre. The project has been made possible thanks to individuals, organisations and companies that have generously given their time, resources and support including: Southwark Square, PRG, Geraghty Taylor, Venue Group and the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
To take part, submit your scream via Zoom meeting ID: 853 707 2814 or by emailing screams@screamthehousedown.com
The installation can be viewed from Southwark Street, London, between 8.30pm-12.30am Tuesday – Saturday until 4 July.

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